Page 360 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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342      Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999


            “Chapter Three” of my edit and serialization of John Preston’s Mr. Benson.
            Among the features I wrote were: “An Interview with Martin of Holland,”
            co-written with Al Shapiro; the first feature article ever written about IML,
            “The First International IML Contest”; “Spit, Sweat, and Piss Centerfold
            with Val Martin and Bob Hyslop”; “The Macho Images of Photographer
            Tony Plewik”; “Men’s Bar Scene: Pure Trash”; “Tough Customers”; and
            “Tough Shit.” Because I was exiting Drummer, publisher Embry, returning
            to the office, removed my name as editor-in-chief on this issue, and credited
            the editing to his pseudonym, “Robert Payne.”

               Summer-Fall 1979: A debate, which greatly affected me and my atti-
            tudes toward the evolution of Drummer, raged in the mainstream press and
            vanilla gay magazines about the controversial and changing nature of both
            S&M as a legitimate practice, and masculinity as a legitimate gender. It also
            raged in the streets, where during summer 1979, New York vanilla gays,
            without seeing a single finished frame, picketed with prejudice the leather-
            themed S&M thriller, Cruising, being shot by William (The Boys in the
            Band) Friedkin on location on Greenwich Village streets around the piers,
            the trucks, and the Mineshaft. Six years later, on February 22, 1985, a high-
            profile S&M murder shocked Manhattan when the male fashion model
            Eigil Vesti was killed in a torture slaying that touched the Mineshaft and
            the New York Hellfire Club. The rumors that Mapplethorpe was involved
            were false and typical of even gay popular culture’s fear of his visionary art.
            For details, check elsewhere within Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer.
            Also see Drummer 126 (March 1988), page 53, for the Bruce Marcus arti-
            cle, “The Crispo Case, Consent, and S&M Reality,” and the David France
            book, Bag of Toys: Sex, Scandal, and the Death Mask Murder, 1992.


               October 1979: Publication of Drummer 32. Continuing to work on
            Drummer from my home more than in the Divisadero Street office, in order
            to keep moving forward creatively and responsibly on new issues while
            Embry and I kept our distance from each other, I edited the contents of this
            88-page issue to which I contributed five pieces of my writing, and published
            “Chapter Four” of my edit and serialization of John Preston’s Mr. Benson.
            Among the titles I wrote: “A Confidential Drummer Dossier,” “The Men:
            From the Writing of Robert Opel,” “Conrap,” “Tough Customers,” and
            “Tough Shit.” As he had first done in Drummer 31, Embry deleted my name
            as editor-in-chief on this issue, and credited the editing to “Robert Payne.”
            In a kind of vengeance for my leaving him after my changing Drummer to
            “new leather” with overt gender themes that he had little feel for, he also


              ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 03-16-2017
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